The Castle of Otranto

Horace Walpole

The masterpiece that started the Gothic craze.

The Castle of Otranto by Walpole is believed to have begun the Gothic genre. Dark foreboding castles, ghosts, damsels in distress, murder, intrigue, high melodrama-- this has it all.It purports to be a translation of a work printed in Naples in 1529 that has been newly discovered in the library of 'an ancient Catholic family in the north of England'. The novel tells the story of Manfred, the prince of Otranto, who is keen to secure the castle for his lineage in the face of a terrifying curse. At the beginning of the work Manfred's son, Conrad, is crushed to death by an enormous helmet on the morning of his wedding to the beautiful Princess Isabella. Faced with the extinction of his line, Manfred vows to divorce his wife and marry the terrified Isabella himself.

  • Classification : Gothic/Horror
  • Pub Date : JUN 20, 2023
  • Imprint : YELLOWBACK
  • Page Extent : 120
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9789357312202
  • Price : INR 299

Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (24 September 1717 2 March 1797), better known as Horace Walpole, was an English writer, art historian, man of letters, antiquarian, and Whig politician. The youngest son of the first British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, he became the 4th and last Earl of Orford of the second creation on his nephew's death in 1791. Walpole's lasting architectural creation is Strawberry Hill, the home he built from 1749 onward in Twickenham, southwest of London, which at the time overlooked the Thames. Here he revived the Gothic style many decades before his Victorian successors. This fanciful neo-Gothic concoction began a new architectural trend. Strawberry Hill had its own printing press, the Strawberry Hill Press, which supported Horace Walpole's intensive literary activity. In 1764, not using his own press, he anonymously published his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, claiming on its title page that it was a translation "from the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto". The second edition's preface, according to James Watt, "has often been regarded as a manifesto for the modern Gothic romance, stating that his work, now subtitled 'A Gothic Story', sought to restore the qualities of imagination and invention to contemporary fiction".

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